16 June 2011

R.I.P. Eno The Cat

Eno the cat, the younger of my two cats, died yesterday, after 15+ years of fun and companionship.

I got him as a kitten in the spring of 1996 from a farm in Lake Mills that had more cats than it wanted or needed. When I saw him for the first time, he was walking on the back of a cow laying in a barn stall, and I was smitten. My pick of the litter was made for me, because really, how can anyone deny a cat who walks on cows?

Eno was a large kitten that became a very large cat - 21 pounds of cat, in fact, when he was weighed at the veterinarian earlier this year. He was large, but never fat - fairly tall, and rather long, with plenty of muscle underneath his long and luxurious black and white coat. Despite his size, Eno never lost his tendency to climb big, dumb animals. I don't think a day went by that he didn't climb all over me. Half the time I found this quite hilarious, half the time I found it annoying, quite frankly. You ever try reading Lem novels with a 21 pound cat trying to balance on your shoulder while pawing at your hands and the turning pages?

Eno was a vocal cat. Every evening when I got home from work he and I would talk about our days while I washed the dishes or prepared dinner. I have absolutely no idea what the fuck he was saying, but he always sounded happy and rather pleased with himself, so I always figured he was cool, I was cool, and we were cool. He also liked to sit on the back of the couch and watch the world outside the living room window. More specifically, he liked to "chitter" at the birds and rabbits. Yes, the birds and rabbits, and even that groundhog that took residence next door for the better part of 2007, but never the fucking squirrels. Eno understood the score with the squirrels, and he feared and loathed them with the same kind of passion that I do. He did. I know he did. Yes.

I won't recall to you the details of Eno's last day, except to say that it all happened rather fast. He went from sick to gone in less than 24 hours, and when he took a sudden turn for the worse at about 2 am yesterday, I knew that he wasn't long for this world, and the best I could do was be near him, talk to him, and hope he wasn't in too much pain.

He took his last, labored breath at about 6am yesterday morning, and it was heartbreaking to actually witness. The finality of it, his sudden absence, was and remains surreal to me. Less than 24 hours earlier he was headbutting me awake and crawling on my back.

15 years together that started and ended with him crawling around on the back of a big, dumb animal that just wanted to sleep.

It was a fun and interesting 15 years, and I will miss him more than I thought I could, and more than he'll ever know.

Rest in peace, Eno.


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